12/11/2010 by The Sorcerer
I am writing on behalf of a friend in the army who questioned me all this in the middle of the night.
According to what he says, technically (and as far as approval goes)- class, grade and standard have different meanings- although Grade and standard certifications are more or less “same”. Something new and something I never heard of. As far as my observation goes, MSI claims as “military class components” and now Asus does so- claiming it “Military grade”.
The advertisement pitch from MSI goes like this:
Whereas from ASUS (specifically x58 Sabertooth) goes like this:
I was searching for tests reports in msi’ specification made. They had a test report section alright, but nothing about the tests that made them deem it as “military class”, but rather this:
Specifically, these reports are to let people know that these hardware are compatible with MSI boards (like the CPU/memory compatiblity list). But this is supposed to be “compatibility list”- not under “Tests reports”.
After I forwarded the question and I was being told that under “Qualified vendor’s list” under sabertooth’s product profile’s download tab, I found 3 separate test reports- for capacitors, chokes and MOSFETs. They can be downloaded from here in PDF format. You can download it from this link.(download->select OS-> QVL-> Sabertooth X58 Military Standard Test report. Its about 11MB with 3 PDF files).
For those who just want to see a sneak peak of the test reports, they seemed specific.
They mentioned the components and their model numbers, alongwith how many samples they received, testing methodology, ambience, pictures during tests, the name and date of the person who made the test, also the category of tests ( thermal shock test, moisture resistant test, salt spray test, solderability test).
Photos and graphs of the tests wherever required were mentioned. Pictures during testing were also known. In layman’s terms- its one of those complete lab reports imaginable for an end consumer to understand that the tests were done right.
ISO/IEC 17025 certifiation are given by testing and testing equipment calibrating laboratories. Note- this is not your typical ISO 9000 certifications which is given out by third party certification agencies- but by government bodies who are connected to science and technology ministry. As far as what I’ve been told, we have one in India, taken care by the ministry of science and technology. Most countries have them and far as what I’ve being told Taiwan has it too. Integrated service technology labs are one of those labs who do such tests, alongwith RoHS and green power certifications.
But realize this, its the components that are deemed military grade- MOSFETs, chokes and capacitors. Still, its nice to see if companies make such claims and put up such tests reports from labs with a serious accredation from a recognised government goverment organisation, it turns out to be a real deal rather than a marketing gimmick or another pick up line like “future proof”.
But in any case, remember. At the end of the day we all want to buy the board that will last us for about 3-5 years max? The last thing we want to face is trips to the RMA centre. You’re lot better spending a bit more money for a board that is rock solid with all the required features you will need for that period rather than buying boards with feature in advertisements. If you also observe, multiple unknown “review” sites giveaway recommended bagdes to secure their relationship with companies and even tech magazines, who end up doing “some stuff” for them time and again to make sure AD revenues roll in smoothly. I remember Techtree’s editor Ameya Dalvi told in-one-of-those-chit-chat group-social meeting at a Gigabyte user’s “conference” years ago (2007? maybe) that you’re lot better off doing all the reviews in a website as there’s no physical limitation to cramp a review one page to keep the printing costs down. I say alongwith that testing methodology needs to be adopted and practised, alongwith what kind of procedures and testing equipments used to give such label.
Think about it? THX don’t have any specific testing methodology but 80 plus mentions it, alongwith such lab tests- which you would rather believe after knowing the required info?